Dr Withny Dagrain, CD, DMD, pictured above right during routine dental treatment on patient Corporal Howard Kack (left) with Dental Assistant Monica McGinnis (centre) at 1 Dental Unit Detachment Petawawa, will depart for Haiti this month to volunteer his skills as a dentist at the Foyer pour Enfants Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes. The 150 children at this orphanage will receive dental care for the first time in their lives. It is one of several humanitarian missions Major Dagrain has been a part of in Haiti. (Submitted photo)
“New Horizons Task Force Bon Voizen” in 2011. (Submitted photo)
Giving back to kids in Haiti
By Dr Withny Dagrain
Posted on Thursday May 3, 2018
My name is Dr Withny Dagrain, CD, DMD, and I practice dentistry in the Garrison Petawawa Ontario Dental Clinic.
I was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I moved to Montreal, Canada in July 1996, where I graduated from CEGEP Bois-de Boulogne in Health Science in 1998. I then moved to Ottawa to study Occupational Therapy at the University of Ottawa. I joined the Canadian Forces in June 2001 as a Reservist Medical Technician. Later I returned to Montreal to study dentistry at Montreal University, graduating in 2008. These opportunities have given me much to be grateful for.
While in dental school I enrolled as a member of the Royal Canadian Dental Corps (RCDC) of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). After multiple postings, operations and humanitarian missions, I am now stationed at Garrison Petawawa, where I continue to serve my country.
Throughout my career I have loved and enjoyed all the opportunities that the military has provided me. One of those opportunities was joining the pacific partnership humanitarian mission in 2013 on a trip to Kiribati and Solomon Island, where I used my skills to help in any way possible. It was a lot of hard work but a very rewarding experience that I will never forget.
Through these experiences, the Canadian Army has shown me how important and valuable it is to help others. I have since fallen in love with helping others and have continued to participate in humanitarian missions on my own personal time. I have become very passionate about offering a helping hand in any way possible, whether that means offering dental services or simply helping other aid workers to do their job.
Not only has the military taught me to care for people in foreign countries but it has also inspired me to reach out and help my local community.
One of my most memorable experiences has been when the RCDC of the CAF sent me on a Humanitarian Mission for “New Horizons Task Force Bon Voizen” in 2011 located in my homeland of Haiti. After that experience, I was motivated to return, volunteering my personal time with an American organization “Santé Total” again in my homeland in 2014 where a small community has never received dental treatment in their lives. It was a rewarding experience that I will never forget.
The 7.3 magnitude earthquake that ravaged Haiti in 2010 has left thousands of children orphaned. A friend of mine recently shared with me her plan to help children in an orphanage in Haiti, and I felt compelled to be part of that mission. I saw this as an opportunity to give to others what Canada has given to me, so I contacted the organization, FENDLI, to offer my time and skills as a dentist.
In May 2018, we will go on the first of what we hope to be many trips to the Foyer pour Enfants Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes. The 150 children at this orphanage will now receive dental care for the first time in their lives.
I would like to invite you to see for yourself the amazing work being done by volunteers at this orphanage in Haiti by visiting the FENDLI website and FaceBook page: https://fendli.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/Fendlipageofficielle/